November 10, 2017 | 0 Comments
Throughout the course of the current year, the current Elder Board will have examined all possible candidates of whom they are aware and will have prayed and discussed the matter at considerable length. The Board will also have spent time in dialogue with each potential candidate to determine a) if he meets the spiritual qualifications outlined in Scripture and b) truly “aspires to the office” of Elder (1 Tim. 3:1ff.).
(1) On the first Sunday of October each year, extending for three weeks, an announcement will be made requesting that covenant members of Bridgeway Church make known to the Elder Board the names of those men who they believe meet the qualifications of Elder as set forth in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1. They must communicate this in writing, either by letter or e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org).
(2) On the second Sunday of November each year, extending for three weeks, the Elders will post a list of all men who they believe should be appointed to serve as Elders and are willing to serve in this capacity. This list will be made available in the church bulletin as well as on The City.
(3) From the second Sunday in November through the third Sunday in December, covenant members of Bridgeway will have the opportunity to communicate with any current Elder regarding the qualifications of those on the list. If one believes that a particular man is not qualified, or if they are in possession of information that would render the individual unsuited for service in this office, they should make this known in complete confidence to any one or several of the current Elders. No objections to any particular Elder candidate will be accepted beyond the third Sunday in December. The Elder Board will prayerfully process this information and perform due diligence to determine if the concerns expressed regarding a particular candidate are true and relevant.
(4) A final list of new Elders will be presented to the covenant membership of Bridgeway Church for their affirmation. This is not a time for discussion or objecting to the appointment of any Elder candidate. This is not a time to vote Yes or No on any particular candidate. That time ended on the third Sunday of December. This is the opportunity to ratify and affirm the final list as determined by the current Board, and in accordance with the church’s By-Laws.
This will occur at a meeting of the covenant membership in January each year (date to be determined), at which time the Budget for the upcoming year will be examined and presented to the church, and other matters relevant to specific areas of church life and ministry are addressed.
Biblical Qualifications for an Elder
As Dave Harvey correctly notes, “Paul isn’t holding out a list of character goals yet to be achieved. He’s speaking of qualities already present. They’re preconditions for the elder, not outcomes eventually hoped for” (Am I Called? 74-75). Harvey goes on to point out, however, that “we’ll never see these qualities perfected in anyone. But while not perfected, they should be evident, and will be in any man who’s called” to serve as an Elder (75). The biblical criteria for those in church leadership pertain not only to intellectual and theological skills but especially to character, with an emphasis on moral and spiritual maturity.
A person of excellent reputation
Above reproach (1 Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:6)
Blameless (Titus 1:6-7; 1 Tim. 3:10)
Respectable (1 Tim. 3:2)
Good reputation with those outside the church (1 Tim. 3:7) Possessing dignity (1 Tim. 3:8)
Not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination (Titus 1:6)
A person with an exemplary family life
Husband of one wife (i.e., loyal and dedicated exclusively to one’s wife; 1 Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:6) Children not licentious, rebellious, or unfaithful (Titus 1:6)
Children who respectfully obey (1 Tim. 3:4)
Manages his own household well (1 Tim. 3:4-5,12)
A person with Christ-like relational skills
Hospitable (1 Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:8)
Not quick-tempered (Titus 1:7)
Not violent (1 Tim. 3:3; Titus 1:7)
Not quarrelsome or contentious (1 Tim. 3:3)
Gentle (1 Tim. 3:3)
Not arrogant (Titus 1:7)
Not double-tongued, i.e., sincere in speech (1 Tim. 3:8)
Not slanderers (1 Tim. 3:11)
A person who lives a disciplined life
Sober-minded (1 Tim. 3:2)
Self-controlled (1 Tim. 3:2,11)
Not given to excess with alcohol (1 Tim. 3:3, 8; Titus 1:7)
A person devoted to the Word of God
Able to teach (1 Tim. 3:2)
Holds to the faith with a clear conscience (1 Tim. 3:9)
Holds firmly to the Word as it was taught (Titus 1:9)
Able to exhort others in sound doctrine (Titus 1:9)
Able to refute those in opposition (Titus 1:9)
A person characterized by biblical values
Free from the love of money (1 Tim. 3:3)
Not greedy for dishonest gain (1 Tim. 3:8; Titus 1:7)
Loving what is good (Titus 1:8)
A person of maturity and spiritual devotion
Upright (Titus 1:8)
Holy (Titus 1:8)
Disciplined (Titus 1:8)
Not a new convert, i.e., he must be a seasoned disciple (1 Tim. 3:6)
One who has been tried/tested, proven faithful (1 Tim. 3:10)
Humble (1 Tim. 3:6)